Does this “hole” on the diamond’s surface scare you when seen under magnification?
Cavities are surface indentations or fracture cracks that expand towards the inside of a diamond. Basically, you can think of a cavity inclusion as another name for a “hole” in the diamond.
As a consumer, is a cavity in a diamond something you should worry about?
Well, it depends on a case by case basis. In this article, we will find out how cavities are formed. You will also see real life examples of diamonds with cavities and the things to look out for when you come across such diamonds.
Let’s dive in…
In most cases, a cavity is created during the polishing process when a feather near the surface is breached or when a crystal inclusion gets dislodged from the diamond’s body. This creates an empty void and leaves an opening on the diamond’s surface.
Inclusions like feathers, clouds or crystals can break to the surface during cutting…
You might be wondering why the cutter didn’t polish off the cavity if they could do so and that’s a fair question. The answer really boils down to economics.
Most of the time, it would require a severe weight loss of the rough stone to remove a cavity inclusion completely. As a result, most cutters opt to retain weight at the expense of lower clarity grades since the value of a larger sized diamond is usually higher than an improvement in clarity rating.
Personally speaking, I don’t like having cavities as inclusions in my diamond. I will generally avoid cavities in SI1-SI2 diamonds especially if they are the clarity grade makers.
The reason behind this is that bigger cavities tend to turn dark during normal wear because they can trap dirt and oil overtime. The location of the cavity is also a factor I would look at because of durability reasons.
To illustrate this, here are a couple of diamond examples I would avoid…
In the first example, a large cavity is found near the edge of the cushion cut diamond. This can pose some risk of the diamond chipping when you accidentally knock the ring against a hard surface.
Also, the cavity also takes on a greyish color instead of a translucent appearance which makes it easily seen with the naked eye.
Dirt can accumulate in the cavity and create a dark appearance.
In this example, the cavity is found on the bottom (pavilion) side of the stone. You need to tread carefully here and make sure that the cavity isn’t large enough to be an issue. The reason behind this is that once the stone is set, it would be very difficult for effective cleaning if dirt gets into the crevice.
If the cavity gets clogged, how would you clean the stone effectively?
The size and location of the cavity and diamond’s clarity grade also plays a huge role too. For example, if they are located in an inconspicuous area, they are usually more acceptable and won’t be easily noticed by a casual viewer.
Example of a great looking SI2 diamond with no significant clarity issues.
Every once in a while, VS clarity diamonds with cavities do show up.
Generally speaking, diamonds with clarity grades of VS2 or better would not have durability issues and are relatively “safe” choices. Most of the time, inclusions found in VS stones are insignificant and don’t negatively affect the diamond’s appearance.
But, it’s not the case with the VS2 oval diamond below. Here, we see a rare case where a VS2 clarity grade consists of inclusions that are detrimental to the diamond’s beauty and durability.
The large cavity at the girdle creates an awful dark patch and causes durability issues.
Like any other types of inclusions, a lot depends on the nature of the inclusions being benign or malign.
If you are serious about buying a diamond with cavity inclusions, I recommend examining the inclusions at different viewing angles with a microscope. You should also consider the cavity’s depth and exposed surface size before deciding to reject or purchase the stone. And it doesn’t hurt to be doubly sure and have the diamond checked by a professional.
Personally speaking, I tend to err on the side of caution and will avoid diamonds with cavities just to be safe. I don’t see a need to settle on a diamond with cavity inclusions when there are so many options available in the market.
With that said, I hope you found this article useful. Now I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below to let me know if you would consider buying a diamond with a cavity inclusion and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch as well.